Eileen Lamb OGara Chair will increase understanding of the key role women play in philanthropy

Gift to IU School of Philanthropy will create nation's first endowed chair in women's philanthropy

  • Feb. 20, 2013

Eileen Lamb O’Gara Chair will increase understanding of the key role women play in philanthropy

INDIANAPOLIS -- A gift to create the nation’s first endowed chair in women’s philanthropy will advance and expand understanding of women’s unique and powerful role in giving, volunteering and leadership of philanthropic organizations.

The Indiana University School of Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will establish the Eileen Lamb O’Gara Chair in Women’s Philanthropy with an endowment gift from Maureen and Jim Hackett.

Maureen Hackett chairs the school’s board of visitors. The women’s philanthropy chair is named for her mother, an entrepreneurial businesswoman who dedicated her life to helping and caring for others.

“Women have long been leaders -- often unsung leaders -- in philanthropy,” Maureen Hackett said. “Today, women’s philanthropy is more visible, more prolific and more powerful than ever before. Our understanding of it must equal its strength in order to achieve philanthropy’s full potential to change the world.”

The chair holder will conduct groundbreaking research on women’s philanthropy and on gender differences in philanthropy, translate research into improvements in philanthropic practices and develop academic courses in the new School of Philanthropy. With the creation of the endowed chair, the school and its Women’s Philanthropy Institute will be able to provide new insights and information for students, donors, fundraisers and institutions.

“We are delighted to thank Maureen and Jim for this generous gift,” said Gene Tempel, founding dean of the school. “It will enhance knowledge about the role of gender differences in philanthropy and will ensure that women’s philanthropy has a prominent and permanent place in the study of philanthropy.

“It is especially appropriate that the nation’s first endowed chair in this field is being created by one of the nation’s most inspiring and effective philanthropy leaders to honor the legacy of her remarkable mother,” Tempel said. “Maureen epitomizes thoughtful, high-impact philanthropy, and we are grateful for her generosity, wise counsel and bold leadership.”

The Hacketts’ community and national involvement reflects their deep commitment to family, faith and education: They are passionate about mental health care advocacy, children’s health, Catholic education and youth development, among other causes, and give generously of their time, resources and skills.

Maureen Hackett began her volunteerism at 14 and has been dedicated to making a difference in the lives of others throughout her life. She is an active volunteer board member or advisory board member for charities around the country, including the Greater Houston Community Foundation, the Menninger Clinic, the MD Anderson Cancer Center, Mental Health America Houston, the Mental Health Court Foundation and the Rice University Shepherd School of Music.

Jim Hackett is executive chairman of the board of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and previously was its chairman, president and CEO. He is former chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He serves as a volunteer leader on several nonprofit boards, including the Baylor College of Medicine, the Welch Foundation for Chemistry, the Business Roundtable and Rice University, where he also is an adjunct professor.

“Women are leading in philanthropy in vibrant, dynamic ways, yet too little is known about why and how women give and volunteer,” said Debra Mesch, director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the School of Philanthropy. “This wonderful gift will elevate awareness and understanding of women’s philanthropy and enable the school and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute to provide new knowledge for donors and nonprofit professionals so they can make a transformational difference in the causes they care about around the world.”

The Hacketts’ gift is the first chair to be endowed at the School of Philanthropy during the recently announced public phase of its Moving Philanthropy Forward $100 million special endowment initiative. The initiative seeks support for endowed faculty chairs, student scholarships, research and training programs for philanthropy and nonprofit professionals. It includes endowment matching gift opportunities for RISE Scholarships and endowed chairs and Ruth Lilly Professorships. To date, the school has received more than $70.6 million in gifts and pledges, including the Hacketts’ gift.

About the School of Philanthropy

The Indiana University School of Philanthropy is dedicated to improving philanthropy to improve the world by educating and empowering students and professionals to be innovators and leaders who create positive and lasting change. Located at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, the School offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy through its academic, research and international programs and through The Fund Raising School, the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving and the Women’s Philanthropy Institute.